April 2, 1945 – For 35 years, I have much admired the work of Lydia Susanna Hunter, who uses the professional name Linda Hunt. I am just zany for small people & Hunt is a diminutive 4’9”. Like Jessica Lange in American Horror Story, Glenn Close in Damages or Robin Wright in House Of Cards, Linda Hunt lends major acting cred to the cast of a TV series. She plays quirky Hetty Lange, an M-type character, on the immensely popular NCIS Los Angeles, a series, I admit, I have never viewed, sorry Linda.
Hunt, a lesbian, should be beloved by gay people for playing Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), a very fine film co-starring Sigourney Weaver & a pre-insane, very hot Mel Gibson. The role won Hunt the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. This was the first Academy Award won by someone portraying a member of the opposite sex. Her performance is complex & deeply touching.
Hunt studied at The Goodman School of Drama. She had her film debut in 1980 in Robert Altman‘s zany musical movie, Popeye. Other credits include the school principal in Kindergarten Cop (1990), filmed in Oregon, where I reside, & the lesbian Alice B. Toklas in the underrated Waiting For The Moon (1987), plus dozens of other films, some excellent & others dreadful. But, Hunt’s contribution is always craft-worthy, original & interesting.
Hunt has received 2 Obie awards & a Tony nomination for her theatre work. She created the role of Aunt Dan in the terrific Wallace Shawn‘s biting comedy Aunt Dan & Lemon. She portrayed Sister Aloysius in the Pasadena Playhouse production of Doubt. Hunt also appeared as Pope Joan in Caryl Churchill‘s Top Girls at London’s Royal Court Theatre.
Hunt is one of those working actors that I always admire. I wonder if she sings; she would be simply mesmerizing in a Vegas show. She has been with her wife, Karen Klein, for 26 years, married in 2008. The couple lives in LA with their 3 dogs.
Linda Hunt celebrates her 70th birthday today. I think she would make for a most interesting guest at a cocktail party.